In just one game, Rod Barajas became the second-most valuable catcher the Dodgers have had all year.
No, really. His three extra-base hits are as many as Brad Ausmus and A.J. Ellis have all season long, combined, and his WPA (Win Probability Added) in this game was .472, which far outweighs the -0.30 Ausmus and -0.29 Ellis have “contributed”. So for that alone, his acquisition is worthwhile.
Of course, let’s not go overboard on Barajas, just yet. (I’m actually already fending off people on Twitter who wanted to sign him for 2011 before the game was even official.) I still stand by my feelings from when he was acquired; he’s better than Ausmus and Ellis, but that’s faint praise.
That’s more of a long-term conversation though, and tonight is Barajas’ night. As I noted before the game, I might not be a huge fan of his, but hearing him on the pregame show going on and on about how he grew up in Southern California dying to put on the Dodger uniform, and that this is a serious dream come true for him, makes it really hard not to root for the guy. I can’t imagine how he feels right now – and good for him. He deserves it.
Hey, Matt Kemp: the bomb of a homer you hit, which was conservatively estimated at 450 feet, was incredible. You didn’t even get a full step in your swing, but still put it off the center field scoreboard, a good 30 feet up, for your third homer in three games. So when you prove that you can do something that awesome, can you please not come out and bunt the next time out? Whether or not you get on base (he didn’t) or not is irrelevant. You’re a power hitter finally getting your groove back. Don’t give away outs by bunting. Ever.
Seriously, though, Kemp crushed that ball. Let me show you. Here’s Miller Park, and note that I’ve placed a baseball on the scoreboard where his homer landed:
(Update: okay, it turns out ESPN’s caption was wrong. The ball in the scoreboard was stuck there from BP, not Kemp. Still, it’s a hell of a blast.)
Don’t believe me? Check out this amazing picture from ESPN.com:
Robot umps, as soon as possible, please.
Hiroki Kuroda was placed on waivers today, reports Ken Rosenthal. There’s no indication that the Dodgers are actually ready to sell, but there should be no shortage of interest in a guy like Kuroda. Though I doubt he’d get that far, the Yankees would certainly put in a claim.